BAE Systems’ work on MAST programme extended
BAE Systems has announced that it will lead the Army Research Laboratory’s (ARL) Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology (MAST) Collaborative Technology Alliance for an additional five years through 2017. The company was awarded a $43 million cooperative agreement extension for the research programme, which aims to enable small robotic platforms – that would be used by individual soldiers – to remotely perform surveillance within complex urban environments and terrain.
This extension will see BAE Systems work closely with the MAST Alliance’s team of scientists from the US Army, academia, and industry as it advances bio-inspired micro-robotics technology to extend the remote sensing capability of US ground forces.
Bill Devine, MAST’s strategic development manager for BAE Systems, said: ‘The technologies being developed under MAST will support products that extend soldiers’ capabilities while keeping them out of harm’s way. We are proud to continue our successful collaboration with the ARL on the next phase of this exciting programme.’
The second phase of the MAST programme will continue the research, development and integration of several key areas including micro-scale aeromechanics and ambulation; propulsion; sensing, autonomy, communications, navigation, and control; and microscale integration, among others, enabling several different mission-capable robotic platforms.
Dr Brett Piekarski, ARL MAST Consortium manager, added: ‘Our recent review by the MAST Research Management Board received high marks for the quality and success of the research conducted over the past five years contributing greatly to the decision to award the five year option to extend the programme.’
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